This Weeks Health News – 13/06/14

This week a court has started to decide if obese people get the same benefits as disabled people, research suggesting aspirin might not be as safe as originally thought,...

This week a court has started to decide if obese people get the same benefits as disabled people, research suggesting aspirin might not be as safe as originally thought, more research into the benefits of cod liver oil, and another red meat/ cancer headline.


obesityObesity is not a disability

Overeating is an addiction – if the EU court labels it otherwise, it will be a monumental act of denial… Read more here.

An European court hearing is deciding if obesity can be classified as a disability. If the court decides that it is a disability, people suffering from obesity will have access to all the support that disabled people do. Is obesity a lifestyle choice, or is it a disability? I appreciate that obese people may have mobility issues similar to disabled people, but this can be rectified by a bit of exercise and a proper diet. It is self inflicted, and reversible, and in the vast majority of cases, a lifestyle choice.

I can see there being a big divide here, and I think that many obese people will want to class it as an disability, when the rest of the population see it as a lifestyle choice. I’ve been quite clear about my stand point on this subject, so I won’t go on about it again, but it would be interested to hear what other people think on this. Should obesity be classified as a disability?

daily-aspirinAspirin ‘not best’ for preventing strokes

Doctors are being told not to routinely prescribe aspirin for a common heart condition that increases stroke risk… Read more here.

Aspirin is one of the most common drugs, and acts as a mild pain killer and a blood thinner. As there more effective pain killers available such as paracetamol, aspirin is now mainly used as a blood thinner. I have heard of people taking an aspirin before they go on long plane flights, or before anything which requires them to be sat down for long periods of time to prevent blood clots. Aspirin is also quite often recommended to people who are at risk of a stoke for the same reason, and because it thins the blood it does reduce the risk of a stroke.

A recent study has causes some concern over the regular use of aspirin amongst those people who have a weak or irregular heart beat, as aspirin can cause further complications. Doctors are now being told to recommend other blood thinners over aspirin such as warfarin (which is also used as rat poison). Warfarin is actually quite safe, and in the scheme of things is a very mild pharmaceutical (as long as you don’t take too much). Having said this, I still think there are better ways to reduce stoke.


cod-liver-oilCod liver oil can lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Could fish oil lower the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus… Read more here.

Yet another reason to eat oily fish! The health benefits of omega-3 are well recognized, particularly with regards to protecting the cardiovascular system (they are a natural way of lowering the risk of stroke). A recent study has shown that men with the highest serum levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA had a 33% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. EPA and DHA are considered to be the animal source omega-3 fatty acids, and are most abundant in fish oils although they can be found in animal fat in smaller amounts. It is unclear if the same benefits can be expected from consuming ALA (the vegetable omega-3), although it is very possible as ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA. There is no doubt that omega-3 fats are very healthy nutrients, and you can read more information on omega-3 fatty acids and their role in the body here.

If you don’t eat much oily fish for one reason or the other, you may want to consider a good omega-3 supplement either cold-pressed  flaxseed oil or good quality cod liver oil.


red-meatRed meat ‘linked to breast cancer’

Eating a lot of red meat in early adult life may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, according to a US study… Read more here.

Here we go again – it has been a while since we have seen one of these headlines! This is another attention grabbing scare headline, and even the writer admits that the findings are inconsistent, and the possible risk is small. Red meat contains a number of nutrients, but it doesn’t mean you can just eat meat and avoid your fruit and vegetables. There is no real substance to this story.


Images courtesy of tony altertomazstolfashalommama and sheila.


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